Chapter

Grassroots

Carl Pedersen

in Obama's America

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638949
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748638949.003.0003
Grassroots

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When Barack Obama announced on February 10, 2007 that he would seek his party's nomination for president of the United States, he started by telling his audience how he came to Chicago in 1985. When Obama spoke at Grant Park on November 4, 2008 shortly after the networks announced that he had won the presidential election, he made a point of thanking his organisers in the field. He emphasised that his campaign was at heart a grassroots effort, begun ‘in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston’ and funded primarily by small donors. The election did not end the importance of volunteerism and grassroots organising. Obama extended the spirit of community organising to the challenges facing the nation by calling for a ‘new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice’. To underscore the importance of continuing the grassroots work that had been so vital to his victory, the campaign organisation, Obama for America, changed its name to Organising for America days after Obama was inaugurated.

Keywords: Barack Obama; Chicago; volunteerism; grassroots organising; community organising; Obama for America; Organising for America; United States

Chapter.  3647 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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